Diabetes Walk 2009: Tharunyata Hetak Joins Hands with Diabetes Research Unit at University of Colombo to Raise Awareness

Global Diabetes Day Commemorations 2009

International Diabetes Day falls on 14th November.

Commemorating the World Diabetes Day 2009, the Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo together with the Tharunyata Hetak youth organization conducted the “Diabetes Walk 2009" at 7 am yesterday.

The walk commenced from the Colombo Municipal Council grounds and ended at the Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha. A mini-exhibition related to diabetes, treatment and prevention was also held near Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha.

The main objective of the event was to create awareness about diabetes and its prevention, to form a fund for future research in Diabetes and Metabolism and liaise efficiently with International institutions’ by serving as an annual calendar event. This mega-event brought together a large cross section of the general public, school children, medical students and professionals.

Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, Chairman of Tharunyata Hetak Namal Rajapaksa and officials from the Ministries of Health and Education, institutions providing related medical care, celebrities and politicians in addition to a host of other Government/Private institutions also participated at the event.

Participating at the event world famous Sri Lankan cricket star Sanath Jayasuriya said, “My mother is also a diabetic patient. So I very well know the suffering of a diabetic patient as well as its complications. Therefore, I wanted to raise an awareness of this disease among the people in our country and in the world."

Actress Natasha Jayasinghe who also participating in the event said, “In my profession, I get the privilege of influencing young minds and this is why I want to step up and say how important it is to embrace a healthy lifestyle. You are never too young or too old to start taking care of yourself."

“Diabetes is no longer a disease of the elderly. It is increasingly being diagnosed in the younger population. Many studies have shown that South Asians have a particularly higher risk of developing diabetes and is compounded by the declining age of onset of the disease. The sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, unhealthy dietary habits and being overweight are a few of the modifiable risk factors for diabetes mellitus which can be avoided with education and committed effort, resulting in prevention of the onset of the disease," said a health official who participated at the event.

In keeping with the need of the day, the Diabetes Research Unit, Department of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo along with “Tharunyata Hetak Foundation” organized a major campaign, “Diabetes Walk 2009″ held on Sunday, 15th November 2009. The walk commenced from the Colombo Municipal Council grounds and finished at the Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha. The mini-exhibition was also held at the side of the Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha.

The main objectives of this event were as follows,

  • Creating Awareness on Diabetes and its Prevention.
  • Form a fund for future research in “Diabetes and Metabolism”
  • Liaise efficiently with International institutions by serving as an annual calendar event.

The event was graced by Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva, Minister of Health Care and Nutrition as the Chief Guest. Mr. Namal Rajapaksa, Chairman, “Tharunyata Hetak” also joined as the Guest of Honour, following distinguished guests also joined the walk extending their support for this worthy cause.

  • Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama,(Vice Chancellor – University of Colombo)
  • Prof. Rizvi Sheriff (Chairman- Post Graduate Institute of Medicine)
  • Prof. Harsha Seneviratne (Dean Faculty of Medicine, Colombo)
  • Prof Chandrika Wijeratne (Consultant Physician)
  • Prof. Rohan Jayasekara(Consultatnat Genetic Sciences)
  • Dr. Constantine (Consultant Cardiologist)
  • Mr. Lalith Piyum Perera (General Secretary “Tharunyata Hetak”)
  • Dr. Prasad Katulanda,(Consultant Endocrinologist)
  • Dr. P. Panapitiya (Director- Non Communicable Diseases of the Ministry of Health)
  • Dr. Chula Senaratne(Cheif Medical Coordinator– “Tharunyata Hetak”)

Following the “Ambassadors for Diabetes Walk” the following celebrities also took part in the event.

  • Mr. Sanath Jayasuriya
  • Mr. Akalanka Ganegama
  • Mr. Dushmanth Weeraman
  • Mr. Chaminda Vass
  • Mr. Iraj Weeraratne
  • Ms. Natasha Jayasuriya

This mega-event also brought together a large cross section of the general public including members of the Armed Forces, Department of Police and Civil Security Force, School Children, Medical Students and Professionals, Officials from the Ministries of Health and Education, Institutions providing related medical care, Celebrities and Politicians in addition to a host of other government/private institutions.

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